Getting Online: Internet in Brazil

Find about the Internet options available to you in your home in Brazil...

There are two options for connecting to the Internet: one is through a telecommunications service provider, which connects the user to the Internet service providers – this can done either by using the telephone line or by cable or satellite; the other method is directly through the Internet service provider – in this case, a full package is often offered, including email addresses.

The most common means of access in Brazil is dial-up access, which involves dialing into a fixed phone line. Depending upon a person's method of Internet usage, ‘dial-up’ is still the cheapest form available, with payment options provided, involving by-the-minute or at a flat monthly rate, or a combination of the two.

Despite the continued popularity of dial-up, the broadband and ADSL forms of access are making huge advances, and all major cities and state capitals are now fully served.

Recent law has established that telephony operators are prohibited from offering Internet services, but they may offer the technology. Once access to such has been established, the user must then contact the service provider directly. The Speedy broadband service is, to all intents and purposes, offered and provided by the Telefônica telecommunications company, although on contracting the service you have the option of accepting their recommended service provider (Terra), or choosing another.

Broadband services are also increasingly offered by both mobile phone operators and cable TV operators. In the case of the latter, their services can function using the same installed technology and are free of the limitations that have now been placed on telephony operators. The joint cable TV and broadband packages are becoming the most commonly contracted options, as they are more economically attractive.

Internet service providers in Brazil

Subscriptions to Internet can be done online on the specific company’s website, or by calling their customer services number. The individual's taxpayers number (CPF) and RG or RNE are required for registration.

The main service providers in Brazil are:

  • Brasil Telecom (serving the Midwest and Southern States)
  • Terra (nationwide)
    Tel: (11) 3677 1010 (in São Paulo state capital)
  • POP (a free, nationwide – excluding the states in the far north - dial-up service) 
    Tel: (11) 3525 2004 (in São Paulo state capital)
  • UOL (nationwide, ADSL service)
    Tel: 0800 703 3000
  • NET (cable TV service forming part of the Globo group of companies)  
    Tel: (11) 4004 8844 (in São Paulo state capital)
  • GVT (telephone and broadband operator)

As well as the main operators, there are also more than a thousand small-scale broadband service providers distributed around the country. These operators almost all offer wireless connections that do not need installed technology.

Away-from-home Internet access

Due to the limited access the majority of the Brazilian population may have to computer and Internet facilities, the state governments and municipal councils have set up programs offering free usage at centers located in urban regions. In São Paulo, the state government’s program is called Acessa São Paulo and has centers in 353 municipalities. Although specifically located in, and aimed at, the more needy communities, they are an option for free Internet access.